Medical futility: When further therapy is hopeless

Constantine Mavroudis, Allison Siegel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter addresses the ethical issues regarding those situations in which medical and surgical therapy have failed and further action will not alter a patient’s clinical deterioration. The topic of medical futility is discussed at length, including the possible motivations behind its definition and the attempts to codify and define it in modern medicine. That this concept is so difficult to define and is unfortunately persistent in the care of high risk pediatric cardiac surgery and cardiology patients, makes it a very important subject with which congenital heart practitioners should be familiar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBioethical Controversies in Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783030356606
ISBN (Print)9783030356590
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Congenital heart disease
  • Futility
  • Medical ethics
  • Philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Arts and Humanities


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